From the 2019 model year onward any new BMW sold will require the owner to pay an $80 annual fee in order to connect their Apple iTelephone device to their premium luxury automobile. Where most automakers include the connectivity in most products, occasionally reserved for higher trim models, BMW will charge an additional access. The audacity!
On top of the incredibly high monthly note for your new car, and the incredibly high service charge for your iPhone, now you’ll need to pay extra if you want the two high-tech machines to interface. I knew things were looking dire in the automobile industry, but is picking nits over $6.70-ish per month going to make or break BMW?
BMW models equipped with navigation will have the option to pony up for the service. You can pay a lump sum when you get the car, which amounts to 20 years of Apple CarPlay connectivity for $300, or you’re stuck paying $80 per year for the time you own the car. The first year of CarPlay use is included free of charge, how generous.
Now, if you can afford a brand new BMW, you likely can afford the extra $300, but that’s beside the point. This is a matter of principles. If BMW had raised the price of every one of its cars by $300 and included the service free, nobody would have balked. Make it a break out service charge, and it seems like the Germans are trying to nickel and dime you to death.
BMW does not offer Android Auto connectivity, though Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are said to be on the way. No word yet on whether or not BMW will charge customers to access them.